2016 | Drama | 123 minutes | English
Richard Loving, a white construction worker, falls in love with Mildred Jeter, a black woman and family friend. When Mildred becomes pregnant, they decide to marry. Living in Virginia, they will be violating the state’s anti-miscegenation laws, so they move to Washington, D.C. where their marriage is legal. Mildred is homesick so they decide to move back to Virginia where Richard builds a house not far from Mildred’s family. Sheriff Brooks appears at their home and arrests Richard and Mildred claiming their marriage is not legal in Virginia. They are sentenced to one year in prison but the judge suspends the sentence if Richard and Mildred agree to leave the state. Richard and Mildred move back to Washington, D.C., but they are unhappy. Mildred misses her family and Richard believes Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws are unjust. Mildred writes to Attorney General Robert Kennedy for help and he refers her to American Civil Liberties Union lawyer, Bernard Cohen. The case eventually winds up in the Supreme Court. Cohen asks Richard if he has a message for the justices. Richard replies, “Tell the judge I love my wife.”
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 89%
- Metacritic Score: 79
Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Actress (Ruth Negga)
Golden Globes: Nominated, Best Actor, Drama (Joel Edgerton); Nominated, Best Actress, Drama (Ruth Negga)
New York Film Critics Circle: Winner, Breakthrough Performance (Joel Edgerton); Listed, Top Ten Films of the Year
Writers Guild of America (WGA): Winner, Best Original Screenplay
Cannes International Film Festival: In Competition, Palme d’Or
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Rarely has the oppressive, every-minute-of-every-day atmosphere of the impact of racism been captured as it is here. It is like the dust in the air or the crickets at night–always there.
Sometimes a movie speaks loudest when nobody raises a voice. I can’t remember a single scene of fierce denunciation, fervid declaration of righteousness, act of violence or shouting match in LOVING. Yet it lands with as much impact as any movie you’ll ever see.
There are few movies that speak to the American moment as movingly–and with as much idealism—as Jeff Nichol’s LOVING, which revisits the era when blacks and whites were so profoundly segregated in this country that they couldn’t always wed. It plucks two people, an interracial couple, from history and imagines them as they once were, when they were people instead of monuments to American exceptionalism. It was, the movie insists, the absolute ordinariness of their love that defined them, and that made the fight for it into an indelible story of this country.
Even if you know how it ends, LOVING is an engrossing and delicate drama.
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